Many Lyme patients ask me about coq10 and it is a great question, because it definitely has the potential to help people a great deal for a number of different symptoms.
What is it and What are the Forms: First, it is important to know more about CoQ10. It has an odd name, but the substance is actually very similar to a B-vitamin. Co stands for coenzyme. This means the substance is necessary to complete an enzyme. It could be considered a key that fits into a larger lock. This key turns the larger enzyme on, and when they are turned on, the enzymes facilitate major chemical reactions in the body, such as those needed for energy production, heart function, and antioxidant activity. Both B-vitamins and Coenzyme-Q10 are coenzymes. However, one area they differ is that the Bs are water soluble and CoQ10 is fat soluble.
CoQ10 comes in two main forms, ubiquinone (the –one form) and ubiquinol (the –ol form). Both are similar, except that ubiquinol is already in the form necessary for the workings of the body’s cells. Ubiquinone must first be converted into ubiquinol before it actually can begin working and providing benefits. For this reason, studies have shown that the =ol form is about eight times better absorbed than the –one form. This means if you purchase 200mg of ubiquinone, you are getting essentially the exact same benefit as 25mg of ubiquinol.
Why is it Helpful for Lyme Disease? First I should point out that not everyone is deficient in CoQ10, including not all Lyme patients. In fact, one of the primary reasons that people take natural supplements and find that they don’t work is that they actually were not deficient in the first place. This is often true with B vitamins in fact, because most of the Bs are largely prevalent in the diet. However, extra Bs in reasonable doses are not harmful. No studies have been done to determine whether people with Lyme Disease specifically are more likely to be deficient in CoQ10 than healthy people. However I would estimate that on average, people with Lyme or most types of chronic disease are in fact more likely to run deficiencies.
Should I Get Tested for Deficiency? Many vitamins and minerals have ambiguous tests that don’t show a whole lot in regards to whether supplementation would be helpful. CoQ10 is actually NOT one of these. It does have a reliable test that can be used to determine deficiencies. However, for financial reasons, it is often not necessary to make use of this type of testing – it gets pretty pricey. Because supplementing is not harmful, even at relatively high doses and when one is not deficient, an easy test can be done to find out how helpful CoQ10 is for anyone in particular. Here is the test: test and see how you feel, and whether symptom markers go away (such as those listed below).
Are There Other Ways to Assess Deficiency? Yes, even without costly lab testing, there are ways to know if CoQ10 deficiency is more likely. Here are a few of the ways:
- Are taking or recently haven taken statin drugs
- Often Have migraine or tension headaches
- Have issues with gums
- Have significant fatigue
- Have high blood pressure, heart disease, or heart failure
Are you interested in finding out more about Lyme Disease, CoQ10, and other natural therapies? David Rodgers, M.S. Nutrition has put together a free presentation at http://www.nutrientbalance.com/freewebinar He is also available for consultations by phone / video or in office in Berkley, MI.